Jane Weaver


It’s a beaming Friday night and I’m goose-stepping through the Northern Quarter’s recent proliferation of makeshift outdoor drinking spaces, giddy as a kipper for the launch party of Jane Weaver’s outstanding new LP, Modern Kosmology.

Adding to the excitement is a recent personal revelation that Band on the Wall, hosting tonight’s show, is my favourite venue in the city. Possibly fuelled by the scarcity of shows held here compared to some venues, I realised I’ve never seen a bad show here and it’s impossible to imagine that run will end now.

I manage to catch the tail-end of label-mates Virginia Wing, whose set is equal parts Brooklyn band Liars and performance art, some of which involves noise-creator Samuel Pillay standing emotionlessly still, as if he’s been asked to “mind that” without hearing exactly what “that” is. It’s a wonderful racket they make and really puts the outstanding sound system through its paces.

Husband and tastemaker extraordinaire Andy Votel is spinning tunes beforehand, a heady mix of world psychedelia, before introducing the star to the stage with an impromptu and impassioned paean to Jane Weaver’s talent and hard work.

The Manchester-based singer is something of a sleeper sensation, and as Votel so astutely alluded, only now is her following beginning to match her talent. One benefit of being underappreciated is the space to develop as an artist; years of experimentation and collaboration have gone into what will surely be recognised as one of the records of the year.

The early cuts from Modern Kosmology, ‘H>A>K’ and the title track in particular, are impeccable demonstrations of the excellence of the show, all pulsing motorik rhythms and shimmering disco delivery.

Simplistic but trippy visuals match the pacing of the show perfectly, a slowly evolving intergalactic voyage, metamorphosing from astrological wonder to a disco ball and back again. The show was so engrossing, I don’t ever recall taking less notes for a review. Huge swathes of the night pass, hypnotized by the majesty of the performance before a break of applause reminds me that I’ve got a job to do.

Understandably, given much of the set comes from a record only a few hours old, those from breakthrough LP The Silver Globe are best received. ‘Mission Desire’ is beefed up with a ’68 Velvets-style chug while ‘I Need A Connection’ feels like a missing link between Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder.

Concluding the main set is ‘Ravenspoint’, the most intoxicating piece of the night, a mesmerising avant-garde trip worthy of any hallucinogen.

I’ve no doubt what we’re witnessing here is an artist at the peak of their powers, a long journey of discovery out of the shadows into cosmic light, with a potential that seems limitless.

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Joseph Curran

Features Editor and gig reviewer